The Avengers and other Quick Takes



I went to a family wedding in southern Missouri last weekend. It was quite a culture shock; very suddenly, when I turned onto I-44, I found myself surrounded by John 3:16s, Baptist churches three times the size of my (very large) parish, a Mack truck dealership that took up both sides of the highway, and an NRA museum. It was one of those, “Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore” moments. And in the brochure/attractions rack at the hotel: the flyer at right. Upon my honor.


Between traveling, parent teacher conferences, early outs, Halloween parties, and four, read that FOUR days off school (okay fine, 3 1/2, but that half day might as well not have existed), I realized I had to write off this entire week for work. And naps, for that matter. Michael’s very flexible these days, but the down side is that he never, ever wants to take a nap. And he used to be so easy to put to bed!


I had a vaguely hysterical moment with Nicholas this week in the car. He sneezed, told himself “bless you,” and kicked off a discussion of the Trinity. At the end of it, he asked thoughtfully, “What if God sneezed?”

I am totally writing a story about that. The Day God Sneezed. Christian and I were having all sorts of fun that night coming up with silly things to include.



November (Photo credit: kurafire)

Speaking of stories…it’s November 1st, which for Catholics is All Saints Day, but for writers kicks off NaNo, National Novel Writing Month. The idea is to write 50,000 words in one month–plant the butt in the chair, stick the fingers on the keyboard, and write. I’m ambivalent about taking on this challenge for several reasons–let’s call it six: Christian, Alex, Julianna, Nicholas, Michael, and Other Commitments. It’s unrealistic for me to think I could average 1666 new words every day. Yet I see the value of it–deadlines work.

So instead I’ve set a different sort of writing goal for November: seven new flash stories, at least half of them not for blog prompt posting. By the end of November, I want to have some new stories ready to send out. Or at least, within striking distance. To the writers among my readership: are you doing NaNo? What’s been your experience?


Time for the obligatory Halloween take. It was a cold one; Michael and I only lasted half an hour, after which we opened up our house for trick-or-treating. He went crazy giving candy to other kids (and scoping out the contents of their baskets. “I’ll trade you one of these for seven of those!” was Christian’s joke). So you can imagine my surprise when a kid ran to the door in a black robe and said, “I’M SUPPOSED TO BE ‘THE SCREAM’ BUT THE MASK IS TOO HOT!”

“Too hot?” I said, but he was already halfway to the street. I traded rueful glances with his dad. “Well, when you run that fast…” he said.


But I know you all were really just coming here for Avengers Family pics, right?

Halloween 004 closeup

Alex as Hawkeye, Michael as the Hulk, Julianna as Captain America, Nicholas as Iron Man, me as Black Widow and Christian as Thor.


I need one more QT, so I’ll offer this: as difficult as Nicholas can be, every so often he has a moment so sweet that it makes it all…well, it helps me see the big picture. Yesterday someone asked him what the best part of his school Halloween party was, and he said, “My mom and Alex and Michael coming to it.” Awwwwwww…….

Happy early November!

7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes about rattlesnakes, books, and holidays that should be more fun than they are

13 thoughts on “The Avengers and other Quick Takes

  1. That’s cool you all coordinated costumes. I can’t ever get my girls to agree to that!!

    Every year, I think I should sit down and try NaNoWriMo….but I don’t. Of course, I don’t write for a living, but I wish I did and maybe if I focused for a month I could get something going. 🙂

  2. Karen

    Kate, I LIKE the family picture. Also, I have been at the vacuum museum. They also sell new vacuums that are made there and I have 1 of them. Never heard of the place until earlier this year.

  3. #1: Sounds like Montana except that the Baptist megachurches would be small rural congregations.

    #4: All in again this year! I “won” the first two years I did it. The last three years, I didn’t make it (last year, I suffered a hard drive failure). I write mostly to work my nerves at people who are irritating me so the first two years, I “won” because I needed the stress release of going home from work (or going to my laptop) and killing off the people that were irritating me.

    #6: Looking good!

  4. Your culture shock is my reality. I’m just happy we now live along the gulf coast where the Catholic population is actually visible. 🙂

    NaNoWriMo? Sigh. I started Camp NaNoWriMo in July and was doing great until I injured my back and couldn’t sit, stand, or lay down comfortably (that was also the month I released my ebook – what was I thinking?!?) I think I ended up with about 30,000 words. I planned to finish the project this November…right up until today. I feel overwhelmed and frozen in place. I haven’t written a single word.

  5. #1: Did you check out the throwed rolls at Lamberts? “Southern Missouri” may not be near either location, but if you’ve never experienced getting pelted with a hot roll, it might be worth the drive.

    #4: I’m doing it like you saw on my blog – I cheat. That’s what I do. I’m using stuff from last year and I started two days earlier. I read somewhere that kind of thing is almost encouraged, and they’ve highlighted really well known authors that have done the same.

    #6: Was there shawarma? 🙂

    • Ha! We need to dress up again and go find some. 🙂

      We’ve been to Lambert’s once–years ago. I didn’t have time on this trip. Maybe we’ll take the kiddos to Branson next summer!

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